The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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A hossu (払子) is a short staff of wood or bamboo with bundled hair (of a cow, horse, or yak) or hemp wielded by a Zen Buddhist priest. Often described as a "fly swatter" or "fly shooer", the stick is believed to protect the wielder from desire and also works as a way of ridding areas of flies without killing them. The hossu is regarded as symbolic of a Zen master's authority to teach and transmit Buddha Dharma to others, and is frequently passed from one master to the next.